Dental Implants 101: An Introduction
28 August 2016
Dental implants serve as replacement tooth roots, thereby offering a strong base for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are designed to look like your own natural teeth. If you have had tooth loss, then typically you are a great candidate for dental implants. As long as you are in good health, implants are a viable solution for correcting a smile.
Advantages of Restorative Implants
Dentists list a number of advantages of having the implants, including:
- An improved appearance. Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. Also, because they fuse with the bone, they are considered permanent replacement teeth for the patient.
- Improved speech. Dental implants permit you to talk without concern as they resemble natural teeth in both function and appearance.
- Enhanced comfort. Unlike dentures, permanent implants stay in place and never have to be removed or adjusted. Therefore, they are far more comfortable.
- Easier chewing. Dentures, which can slide, can cause you to have difficulties chewing. Because dental implants function like real teeth, you can eat your favourite foods without discomfort or pain.
- Improved dental health. Implants do not require the reduction of a tooth, like a tooth-anchored bridge. The adjacent teeth are not altered to support the implants. As a result, more of the natural teeth are left untouched, improving your oral health. Implants permit easier access between the teeth, which improves daily oral hygiene as well, so long as you practice brushing and flossing.
- Implants are durable and last many years. With regular maintenance, many implants can last the rest of a patient’s life.
- Implants eliminate the inconvenience experienced with removing dentures. Also, adhesives are not needed to keep the teeth in place, making them overall the more convenient option.
If you are thinking about restoring your smile with implants, you first need to set up a consultation with your dentist. He or she will explain how the implant is placed and how long the process will last and how it works. The first step in the therapy is the creation of a treatment plan. The plan will address your dental needs so you can receive the best therapy for you.
How the Implant Is Designed
The root implant itself is a small post that is made out of titanium. The implant is positioned in the bone socket at the site of the missing or removed tooth. As the jawbone is healing, the bone surrounds around the metal post. In turn, the post is anchored securely into the jaw. The healing process for each implant may take from six to 12 weeks, and maintaining proper oral hygiene is imperative during this time.
After the implant is bonded to the jawbone, an abutment, which is a small linking post, is attached to the root post so the artificial tooth can be attached. The dentist, in turn, makes impressions of the teeth and makes a model of the patient’s bite. The new tooth will be based on the impression. The replacement tooth, often referred to and known as a crown, is affixed to the abutment. In some cases, patients use implants to support a removable denture.